World 800m record-holder David Rudisha is a double world and Olympic champion. Here the Kenyan reflects on his success at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 after two years of injury struggles.
“I have had many great moments in my sporting career, but I think the most satisfying was coming back and winning gold at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing because I had suffered so many injury setbacks in the two seasons before.
“The London Olympics were great. I set a world record and a won the gold medal, but there was no doubt I was in great form that year, there was no doubt about that. If I had lost that year, they would have said, ‘what is wrong with Rudisha?’
“I had high expectations for the 2013 season but then in May I was told by a doctor to take six months’ rest because of a bruised bone in my right knee. I had already trained and I was in good form, so to be told I had to miss the season and I couldn’t run for six months was tough. It was a difficult injury because it was sore to touch and massage could not help the problem. All I could do was rest.
“Every time I tried to come back and train and apply pressure on the knee, I felt pain. I did my gym work and exercises and only returned to training again around March 2014. I started my season very late. Some people questioned why I was pushing myself in races when I was clearly not in my best form, but I knew I had to compete to get myself back to form.
“Over time the injury has improved, although I am not over the problem completely. In 2015 I still felt the injury during training. Even last year before the Olympic Games in Rio after some 300 metres of a training session, I had to stop.
“Before the 2015 World Championships, because I was not training as usual, I started to have doubts in my mind. It was a challenge and I had to fight to control my mind. Thankfully, I received great support from my family, friends, coach and manager.
“The final in Beijing was a tactical race and not many believed I could win. I remember I hadn’t won many races that season so to go on and win those championships it meant a lot to me.”
Steve Landells for the IAAF